As 75-year-old paedophile Douglas Slade is jailed for child abuse and rape, the BBC examines his links to notorious 1970s group the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which campaigned to legalise sex with children.
It is hard to comprehend now but in the 1970s Slade openly ran a helpline for child sex abusers from his parents’ home in suburban Bristol.
As he was sentenced at the end of his recent trial, the judge said Slade had “boasted of his involvement” with PIE.
The group campaigned for “children’s sexuality”, calling on the government to axe or lower the age of consent so that adults could have sex with children without breaking the law.
It existed for more than 10 years and received invitations from student unions, won sympathetic media coverage and found academics who supported its campaign. It was even affiliated to the National Council for Civil Liberties – now Liberty.
But behind this questionable veneer of respectability, Slade was a “manipulative and dangerous man,” who helped members of PIE groom vulnerable children; passing victims between themselves for sex.
Det Sgt Paul Melton, from Avon and Somerset Police, spent years building a case against Slade.
He said Slade “was one of the main instigators” of the group, seemingly impervious to the law, who were running a “helpline” for paedophiles, passing on advice to other members about how to groom and abuse children.
“They took advantage of the trends of the time,” said Gabrielle Shaw, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood.
“In the mid-70s it was all about the fight for civil liberties and the trend towards sexual freedom… what it was really about was to normalise sex with children.”
Robert – not his real name – met Slade in 1980 when he was 15 years old. He was repeatedly raped and offered to other men during visits to Slade’s Bristol home.
“I was in a desperate situation at home,” he recalls, “I was looking for somewhere that would be a refuge for me.”
But instead of a sanctuary, Robert unwittingly found himself at the centre of an organised network of paedophiles who systematically raped and abused him.
It was a combination of mistrust and conflicting emotions that prevented Robert reporting his abuser: “Slade showed me what I thought was affection and, because of my home life, it was something I was desperate for… he treated me very kindly.
“He groomed me so I was malleable and would be used for the sexual gratification of him and other men.”
Slade’s sexual abuse of boys was exposed in 1975 when a Sunday newspaper described him as one of “the vilest men in Britain”.
They named him and two other men, linking them to PIE, but, despite the headlines, Slade continued abusing children and the group carried on campaigning.
A series of explosive investigations in the 1980s finally triggered the group’s demise.
In 1983, Scotland Yard was handed a dossier about PIE by a headmaster, Charles Oxley. He said he had infiltrated the group, which he claimed had about 1,000 members.
Finally the authorities acted and PIE’s chairman Tom O’Carroll was jailed for two years. By 1984 the group had disbanded.
deported from the Philippines in 2015
However, Slade himself managed to evade prosecution and in 1985 moved to the Philippines. He boasted he could pay off anyone who became suspicious of him.
Avon and Somerset Police would later fight a six-year battle to have him deported, and he was finally arrested by Filipino immigration authorities.
In 2015, he arrived back in the UK to face eight charges of sexual abuse.
During police interviews, Det Sgt Melton said Slade “possessed a certain arrogance” and was in “complete denial” about his actions.
“He’s an extremely manipulative man… he’s a dangerous man.”
For the victims of the PIE paedophiles, the conviction of Slade provides some form of closure.
“They are sexually driven and have no compassion, not for me or the many, many children they have abused,” said Robert.
“I don’t believe they have any thoughts for what they have done; they don’t believe they have done anything wrong – for them it’s perfectly natural.” BBCNEWS
- Notorious paedophile Douglas Slade was jailed for 24 years at Bristol court
- Extradited from the Philippines back to UK on historic child sex charges
- Moved to Philippines after being branded one of the ‘vilest men’ in Britain
- He built a house overlooking primary school and unleashed years of abuse
- Charity found astonishing 33 victims less than a third of a mile from home
A 10-year-old victim of Douglas Slade has told how the serial paedophile brandished guns and threatened to shoot the terrified boys he molested at his home in the Philippines if they reported him to police.
The founder of Paedophile Information Exchange kept a shotgun and a handgun in the bedroom of his home and warned the scores of boys from poverty-stricken homes he abused that he would shoot them if they told anyone what happened.
Twenty-two stone Slade – jailed for 24 years at Bristol Crown Court on Friday after being extradited back to the UK on historic child sex charges – now faces civil action from five of his victims from the Philippines where he repeatedly paid bribes to dodge justice.
As the wealthy 75-year-old began his jail term for sex attacks between 1965 and 1980, MailOnline interviewed victims and families in the Philippines where the wealthy paedophile men bribed police, officials and families to avoid arrest and jail over three decades.
One young victim Christian (not his real name), who was 10 when Slade lured him into his home in Angeles City, described how Slade threatened him and other boys with guns and video-taped his sickening attacks, selling footage to other paedophiles.
The assaults on Christian in a house Slade built overlooking a primary school took place in December 2014, just days before Slade was tracked down and exposed by MailOnline. He was arrested for the assaults on Christian and other boys four days after our story appeared.
Sitting nervously beside his mother in an interview organised with the help of local officials, Christian said: ‘I still have nightmares about what Mr Douglas did to me.’
Slade was exposed as a founder of the reviled Paedophile Information Exchange network that lobbied to legalise sex with children in the UK in the 1970s and ran a hotline to advise men on how to abuse minors.
Branded one of Britain’s ‘vilest men’ in a 1970s newspaper expose, Slade, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, moved to the Philippines in 1985 where he grew rich through a business supplying meat to restaurants and hotels in the Philippines.
Repeatedly arrested and released on child sex charges, he built a home with a balcony overlooking Amsic Elementary School in a desperately poor district of Angeles City 10 years ago, luring young boys inside by giving them money and sweets.
He picked Christian out of a line-up of young boys who would gather outside his house after school and at weekends and molested the 10-year-old five times in the weeks leading up to his arrest.
‘An older boy who is 15 persuaded me to go there when he told me we could get some money from Mr Douglas,’ said Christian.
‘The first time I went to his house he gave me 500 pesos (£8). Then he gave me 150 pesos (£2.40) every time I visited after that. Two or three boys would visit each time.’
On his visits, Douglas would sit the boys in front of a giant TV set in his living room and make them take baths, sometimes taking them to the shops and a fast food restaurant before taking them home and abusing them.
Slade had video cameras fitted to the wall in both the living room and the bedroom. He would film his abuse and told Christian and the other boys he was selling the footage to friends over the internet.
‘Mr Douglas told us to do things to him and he told us we had to do it right as he told us to because it was all going on video,’ he said.
‘He had a shotgun hanging on the wall of his bedroom and a handgun that he kept on his bed. He showed us the guns before we left the house and told us not to report what happened to anyone and to keep it a secret, otherwise he said something would happen to us. I was very scared.’ Read in full DAILYMAIL
- Founding member of paedophile lobbying group that wanted to lower age of consent jailed for 24 years
- Notorious Bristol paedophile Douglas Slade likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars
- Bristol paedophile Douglas Slade jailed for string of sex offences against young boys
- ‘I was abused by one of Britain’s most wanted paedophiles… I hope he dies in jail’: Sick pervert on the run for 35 years is finally brought to justice thanks to MailOnline as British victim speaks out
- Paedophiles dubbed the ‘vilest men in Britain’ who campaigned to legalise sex with children are guilty of a string of sex offences against young boys